We’re as addicted to end-of-year list-making as your average bloggers. But after a while, we get sick of seeing the same names over and over again. Hey, did you hear about that Kanye album? How about The Social Network — pretty great, huh? That’s why Flavorpill is launching a new yearly tradition: The Underrated Awards, honoring our favorite people and things from the cultural universe that we feel have been criminally under-appreciated. Our second installment focuses on 2010′s most unfairly overlooked albums, from records released early in the year that were forgotten by the time best-of season rolled around to releases too strange to garner much attention outside of a small niche.
Fol Chen — Pt. II: The New December
It’s rare that a band’s sound is unmistakable, and with Pt. II Fol Chen are well on their way to being able to claim that badge of honor. They write pop songs, some so smooth you’ll feel a little guilty for liking them, but with an ominous air that never lets you get too comfortable. Grating synths and triumphant horns fill out a solid but not-too-dense wall of sound that swells and falls away in perfect harmony with the lyrics and movement of each track. Filled with images of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, this album is coming with us when the zombies take over.